This is a run hundred metre dash of my week. Monday. 10am. London central. I’m at the Union Learn conference for the TUC at Congress Hall in Great Russell St. I cycle cause I think cycling’s a good idea except today it’s baking hot. Basically I’m a mobile chicken on a mobile spit. Rare and lightly seasoned I arrive at Congress Hall. First Job 10am: launch Tackling Racism. Last year it was Courtney Pine this year it’s me.
At noon I read poetry to the main conference of Union Representatives for Unionlearn. I read Spark Catchers, my Olympic poem about the women of The Bryant and May factory. The refrain is “strike” and I ask the entire audience to shout out the word at the end of each verse. It goes down a storm. A small piece appears in The Guardian and refers to a blog entry I wrote about an Evening Standard article.
Tuesday: Richard Lea writes substantial article in Guardian about the Poetry Society ruckus. I drive to Southend On Sea for press interviews about Shorelines the World’s First Literature Festival of The Sea with co curator Rachel Lichtenstein. Get a call from BBC regarding Carlos Moore the man who wrote the only authorised biography of FELA KUTI who I’ve booked at Southbank Centre on 7th July.
Wednesday: today begins in Shoreditch House where I meet a good friend who’s an executive producer and her son. And at the end of the day I take The Journalist to NOPI in Piccadilly for some seriously delicious eating and some seriously delicious laughter. The journalist said it was the best meal she'd had this year.
Thursday: Oxford. I Read on stage at the T S Eliot Theatre in Merton College at The World Forum on Enterprise and the Environment. I wrote down an observation from one of the speakers . He said 'There is no president of the sea'.
Friday. Cornwall. Performed on The Biotic stage at The Eden Project. Imagine a valley in rural England. Then imagine the valley transformed into one giant art complex of stages and galleries and cafe's. Today the Boyd Tonkin mentions Shorelines, The World's First Literature Festival of the Sea in The Independent at Southend. Good stuff.
One phrase stays in my mind this week. It was said by Colette Bailey of Metal in Southend-On-Sea. She used the phrase “Collapsing the Gap”. It refers to the process of making invisible the division between audience and artist, process and production. It is a phrase that I have used throughout the week. This blog is collapsing the gap. I said “gap” not crap. That was my week that was.